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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Esteemed forum friends -

I debated putting this up as it's own thread since it is not topically a "Grateful Dead" subject. But I felt strongly enough that I should offer my expertise and experience to help get correct information to anyone who might be concerned or has friends or family in Japan or in the west coast who are concerned about how this may play out. If the information is of any use or interest to you, then you are the reader I am trying to reach. I will answer any questions you may have that show up in subsequent posts to this thread - if any.

We all need to be concerned about a possible "worst case scenario" unfolding. The media and news outlets are understandably reacting to what they hear and only recently have we started seeing subject matter experts in the media offering their opinion on how things may unfold for the worst case scenario - that being a combination of:

1. A breach of core pressure vessel integrity allowing a compromised fuel matrix to be exposed to the environment. there is no doubt in my mind that the fuel has been damaged - whether it is a full meltdown or partial meltdown or blistering/rupturing of the fuel plate cladding really doesn't matter. What that does is expose very highly radioactive fission fuel products, fission by-products and activated fuel matrix compounds - stainless steel, carbon, inconel, etc. - to be exposed outside of normal fuel assembly boundaries. A meltdown or partial meltdown that is still contained within an intact core pressure vessel is relatively okay. But when the core pressure vessel integrity is compromised, damaged molten fuel can spill out. The immediate risk here is loss of shielding and subsequent high radiation levels which greatly complicates accident casualty control reponse. You could actually have pockets of criticality or supercriticality as the molten fuel slag rearranges itself into geometries that support sustained neutron generation and self-sustaining criticality. If the molten mix gets into the ground the immediate high radiation concerns still exist, but now you have to contend with the long term environmental impact - contamination of groundwater and eventually, concentration of various radioactive compounds into the food chain.

2. A fire involving the consumption of radioactive material - a possible scenario in unit #4 (possibly others) if the spent fuel storage pools are drained and the spent fuel can't be cooled. There are a lot of unknowns here - we don't know how much spent fuel is stored in the pools, how long the fuel has been stored and what the plant's operating history was prior to shutdown and fuel assembly removal. The longer the fuel has been in the storage pools the better. Most of the post shutdown high decay heat generation is gone within 100-120 days. There are several reports that the spent fuel in unit #4 was removed no earlier than 30 November when a regular refueling maintenance shutdown occurred. That puts us at 111 days maximum. Not ideal, but not bad - decay heat generation will be low. The problem is if the storage pools are losing water. Then the problem compounds - you have overheating fuel because the cooling water is gone AND even more significant, a loss of shielding and resultant high radiation levels. If water levels can't be restored, the spent fuel will heat up - how hot is dependent on a lot of variables, but in a worst case scenario, the spent fuel could melt, and possibly get hot enough to ignite surrounding materials. This would pump a lot of radioactive material into the air that could then be distributed by weather.

3. Winds anywhere from the north, easterly around to the south. Such weather would blow radioactive contaminants back onto land complicating immediate response with a considerable long term environmental impact. The best we could hope for is a nice high pressure to sit on top of Japan with continuous westerly winds blowing the whole mess out over the Pacific.

4. Any of the 3 events above by themselves complicate the current existing situation. Any combination of them is exponentially worse. The worst case scenario is if all three were to happen - and that remains a possibility.

For people in Japan anywhere close to Fukushima - I'm reluctant to put a number on that, but conservatively, if I was on the island of Honshu anywhere north of Yokohama, north and east of Nagano or east of Ishikawa, I would have the following on hand to be able to react quickly and add some degree of safety if there was a shift in the weather and a plume release coming out of the above scenarios:

1. Enough fresh water and food so you don't have to go outside and get either food or water for a minimum of 1 week.
2. Some form of respiratory protection - even if is just a crude mechanical filter mask. If you go outside and suspect at all that there was airborne contamination, discard the mask before coming back inside.
3. Consider installing some form of washdown capability, a bucket or a hose, to wash yourself down if you have to go outside and are exposed to contamination. Strip down, hose off, throw your clothes away before going back inside.
4. Potassium iodide (KI) tablets in the event Iodine 131 is confirmed. KI saturates the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine which will prevent the uptake and concentration of I-131 in the thyroid which can cause thyroid cancer and other health issues. Check with your doctor before taking KI tablets - iodine supplements should only be taken in dosages consistent with recommended allowances, around 1100 mcg for an adult, less if you are younger, and exceeding this level can cause downstream health problems. This applies to a large dose OR a long term exposure to elevated doses. There are also several health conditions and medicine courses that are not compatibile with KI tablet consumption. Hypothyroidism and some high blood pressure meds fall into this risk category.
5. Some ability to seal your house/apartment if you can't/won't leave. Duct tape, poly sheeting, etc. Turn off heating or cooling ventilation and wait it out.

I am stating the obvious, but the best thing is to not be where the plume was, is or is going. The reality is that some people don't have the ability to leave. The above measures are a bare minimum suggestion of some preparations that you should consider doing now, no matter where you live in Japan. Of course, if you don't already have these resources on hand, it will probably be very difficult to obtain them, but anything you can get now will be better than nothing in the event the unthinkable happens.

This post was modified by Mandojammer on 2011-03-16 21:45:23

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Mar 16, 2011 11:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Thanks Mando,

Nice to get a perspective that is both educated and not over-hyped. Besides, I can use this thread as justification to my wife when she asks why i spend so much time with those dorks who listen to Grateful Dead all the time. Win-Win.

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Poster: Juan Peligro Date: Mar 16, 2011 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

From MSNBC "In Tokyo, the best advice experts could give residents was to stay indoors,
close the windows and avoid breathing bad air -- steps very similar to those for handling a smog alert or avoiding influenza"

Ummm yeah and hey if that don't work (cuz radiation won't go through glass???)...put on your tin foil hats.


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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 4:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Actually dustbowl, depending on the specific airborne contaminant, the radiation won't go through glass. The radiation from a particle that decays through alpha or beta particle emission won't go through glass. Alpha emitters won't penetrate the outer layer of skin and are only a concern if ingested. Beta emitters can easily be shielded by a layer of clothing.

Many of the radionuclides in a contamination plume are beta emitters - the advice to close up windows and secure ventilation is very sound advice for people who can't leave.

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Poster: :) xoxo Date: Mar 16, 2011 9:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Hi and Thank you for sharing with us what you know, it is greatly appreciated.
My brother lives in Fujiyoshida Japan; he sent me an email he received from Yamanashi Prefecture.
Here is the link if you would like to see it from the actual website;
It is telling them the power outage schedule and power conservation. My question to you is the information they give at the very bottom on Radiation Levels in Yamanashi, what is your belief on its accuracy? I copied it and pasted it below.

Thank you,
xoxo :)

Updates on Radiation Levels in Yamanashi Prefecture
Yamanashi Prefecture is commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and has been monitoring the radiation levels in the prefecture using the Monitoring Post installed at the Institute for Public Health and Environment (Fushimi in Kofu City).
According to the observation , the radiation levels since the Fukushima nuclear accident have been ranging from 0.04~0.06 micro sievert per hour (μSv/h). The following is a record on the most recent measurement of radiation in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Date Time Radiation Dose Measured Unit
03/15 5pm 0.058 μSv/h
03/16 9am 0.045 μSv/h
03/16 1pm 0.045 μSv/h
The detected radiation levels do not raise health concerns.
They fall within the radiation range recorded in Yamanashi Prefecture in the past (recorded range: 0.04~0.06 micro sievert per hour)
1.Radiation Dose Measurement(per hour)
Radiation levels indicate the amount of radiation released per hour. For example, a radiation level of 0.050μSv/h would be [ 0.050(μSv/hours)×24(hours)×365(days)=approx. 440(μSv/year)]
2. Radiation Exposure in Daily Life・・・For more information, please click here or here. (Information from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
The reported average annual radiation exposure from natural sources for human beings is 2400 µSv. Radiation exposure from natural sources, or natural background radiation, comes from space, earth and food.
For your reference, the radiation exposure is 50μSv for one chest X-ray checkup, 600μSv for one abdominal X-Ray checkup.
【Radiation Levels Update Frequency】
Yamanashi Prefecture has been commissioned to measure the environmental radioactivity level in Yamanashi by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. We are not able to provide real-time updates on radiation levels. However, we will update 3 times a day on the newest radiation levels in Yamanashi. Thank you for your understanding.

However, if the radiation level is above 0.1μSv/h1 (2 times more than the usual level), we will successively update the newest radiation level.

0.1μSv/h×24(hours)×365(days)=approximately 880(μSv/a year)・・・<1,000 (Regular radiation exposure per person in one year.)
*Please be aware that information on the radiation levels is a translation based on the Japanese version on the prefectural homepage. Please click here for the Japanaese version

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 9:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

:)xoxo -

The levels reported look consistent with other sites that have been reporting radiation levels. It looks like the levels are still around normal background levels. Make sure you write down the background levels each day and do a comparison. If airborne contamination does spread to your location, you might see a small increase from one day to next that doesn't appear to be out of the ordinary, but when compared to the initial readings will indicate slightly increased radiation levels. As long as the winds remain from the west, you should be fine, but keep an eye on the weather reporting.

I will try and find some links to real time monitors set up in various cities on Honshu.

Best of luck for you and your family.

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Poster: :) xoxo Date: Mar 17, 2011 9:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Ok, will do. Thank you!

Linda :)

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Mar 16, 2011 5:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident: dry fuel cooling pool at Dai-ichi 4

Thanks mandojammer,
As an environmental radiochemist (& PhD in chemistry, not radiochem though), I must say that you are right on the mark.
I also suggest again that those of us who pray do so & do so frequently & that those of us who don't tolerate those of us who do through this time. Perhaps check with your favorite charity or religious institution to see if you can volunteer or donate in some manner.

With Love,

PS One of the sites that I've been refreshing regularly is

sadly it is reporting in part:

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko told members of Congress today that there is no water remaining in the fuel pool at reactor 4 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Jaczko told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that “we believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool…radiation levels are extremely high, which could impact the ability to take corrective measures.”"

There is no updated information available from either Tokyo Electric Power or Japanese safety or regulatory officials on the status of the Fukushima plant. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said it also is concerned about the spent fuel storage pool at reactor 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi site.

This post was modified by Jack o' Roses on 2011-03-17 00:35:47

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Poster: boltman Date: Mar 16, 2011 5:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident: dry fuel cooling pool at Dai-ichi 4


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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 16, 2011 7:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident: dry fuel cooling pool at Dai-ichi 4

What's appearing very sad to me is how this is playing out right now. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric) appears to be acting the same way as BP did with the Gulf of Mexico oil leak disaster.

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Poster: boltman Date: Mar 17, 2011 5:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident: dry fuel cooling pool at Dai-ichi 4

Yep, the Ostrich Syndrome. Deny and stick your head in the sand, hope nobody will see you.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Mar 17, 2011 4:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident:: fuel cooling pool at Dai-ichi 4 not dry?

I hope & pray that this is good news:

from the NEI link above:

***...Spokesmen for TEPCO and Japan’s regulatory agency, Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency, on March 17 Japan time refuted reports that there was a complete loss of cooling water in the used fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4. ...***
Recent radiation levels measured at the boundary of the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been dropping steadily over the past 12 hours, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Wednesday night (U.S. time).

At 4 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, a radiation level of 75 millirem per hour was recorded at the plant's main gate. At 4 p.m. EDT, the reading at one plant site gate was 34 millirem per hour. By comparison, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s annual radiation dose limit for the public is 100 millirem. Radiation readings are being taken every 30 minutes."

This is almost 3 orders of magnitude lower that earlier reports & this is very good!

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Poster: dogsinapile! Date: Mar 16, 2011 12:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Thanks for the info.
Watching any media coverage of the Japan disaster(s) has me spooked because you can never tell what is hype, what is opinion, what has ulterior motivation, etc. -- just like most media coverage of anything I guess.
Getting some information that I know is unbiased is great.
Keep it coming...

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Poster: splue Date: Mar 16, 2011 12:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

i think one big prob in assessing is that governments & corporate media r telling so many lies to people way b4 this tragedy, so it's hard 2 know what the *true* situation is---

is a lot of it what they want people 2 believe or is it the truth? i mean, if it's worse than how horrible it is, would they tell us???

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 12:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Short answer, I think the Japanese government may have deliberately witheld information to avert a panic and allow for an as orderly as possible evacuation given the other challenges because of the earthquake and tsunami.

I was a little surprised they ordered a 20 kilometer evac zone as soon as they did. I think they were being very conservative with that call, but it was the right call. Whether or not they knew that the situation was very bad and didn't let everyone know, or they knew that there was a high probability that it could get worse quickly and didn't let everyone know, or they were just being overly cautious isn't really an issue for me.

It got worse, so the conservative call for early evacuation was validated.

It could get even worse, but I also am convinced that they are doing everything possible to combat the casualty - there are Japanese workers at Fukushima Daiichi who are quite simply performing heroic tasks. Some of them have already died of radiation exposure, more will.

I am less concerned with getting every last detail right now, and allwing the Japanese to focus on fighting the casualty as best they can. I still think they are in a grace period where we shouldn't be so quick to holler for complete transparency of the events. But that time is coming soon where they need to start pumping out information regarding radiation levels, specific isotopes released, release estimates, and details about the damage at each reactor unit. There's a big difference between 'want to know' and 'need to know' right now.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 16, 2011 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Thanks, Mando. That's incredibly informative. I appreciate your sharing your knowledge!

My question: What about elsewhere in Asia? Folks here are getting scary emails about not going out if it rains, stocking iodine pills, etc. I'm guessing these are being forwarded from people or listservs more closely related to Japan -- I did a lot of google research and wind speed just wouldn't allow any radiation to come to Nepal yet. (No info on whether it might come later, though, and if so, what the risk might be.) As you probably know, there are forum participants in Bali and Thailand, too -- and I'm sure folks have friends and family all over.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 11:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

AR -

Right now this is an accident where the vast majority of the released radioactive contamnation is a tropospheric event. It is currently unlike Chernobyl in that none of the releases from Fukushima Daiichi so far have likely had sufficient energy to loft the material into the jet stream. Once material from Chernobyl hit the jet stream it traveled around the globe in about 26 days.

So for now, as long as things in Japan don't degrade further, most of the radioactive contamination will be confined to a relatively small area (100s of square miles, possibly larger). Distribution of released material is entirely dependent upon the weather and I agree that you probably won't see anything in Nepal - in fact, depending on the elevation where you are you are probably being exposed to a higher naturally occurring general radiation level than the people of Japan are, even in the areas where contamination has spread.

It is absolutely essential to understand that potassium iodide (KI) tablets will only protect against thyroid uptake of radioactive iodine-131. KI tabs will do nothing for other radionuclides.

It is also very important to understand the difference between radiation and contamination. The news media is using the terms interchangeably and that is incorrect as they are very different. In short, radiation is the energy emmitted by a radioactive isotope, contamination is the actual radioactive dirt. You can receive radiation exposure without being contaminated - just like a medical or dental xray. You receive a very small dose of radiation exposure but you aren't contaminated.

Radioactive contamination will no doubt be the long term environmental and multi-generational concern as the various compounds work their way into the food chain and water supply.

Radiation readings need to be understood in the context they are used. For example, the rad levels at the gate of the Fukushima Daiichi complex may be inconsequential - compared to the cloud of Iodine 131 you may be standing in, or the particulate Cobalt-60 contamination you are standing in as a steam vent condensed and dropped particulate in the surrounding environment. The rad levels associated with this contamination might be "low", but the risk of ingestion, deposition and long term concentrated exposure to surrounding tissue is not.

Conversely, the emergency response workers combatting the casualty are far less concerned with the contamination levels then they are with the radiation levels. Anti-Contamination clothing, force air respirators, and other PPE offer a great degree of protection against skin and/or internal contamination, but do very little for general radiation.

Since the accident occurred and has unfolded, the news media has been using radiation and contamination interchangeably and there is a significant difference. You must understand the differences and you must understand the context in which you might be exposed to either since the risk mechanisms for radiation or contamination are not the same, nor is one necessarily worse than the other.

- Internal contamination is worse than a short duration exposure to low to moderate whole body radiation levels.

- External skin contamination is generally 'better' than exposure to moderate to high rad levels. As long as the contamination is external, you can decontaminate yourself with simple soap and water.

- Exposure to contamination wearing appropriate protective clothing and equipment is better than exposure to elevated rad levels.

- Exposure to very high radiation levels is almost always worse than contamination. Especially if the dose accumulates or there is an acute exposure to high rad levels. Depending on the rad level, incapacitation due to radiation exposure/poisoning can happen in a matter of minutes, days or months.

- Highly radioactive Internal contamination is about as bad as it can get. Second only to an immediately incapacitating dose or exposure to rad levels approaching LD50/30. (The dose level where 50% of those receiving the exposure wil die of radiation poisoning/complications within 30 days.)

Understanding the difference between radiation and contamination and the risk mechanism for both is essential so you can properly formulate an effective personal response plan BEFORE you are exposed to them.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Mar 16, 2011 6:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Really helpful and thorough. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your knowledge here!!!

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 16, 2011 12:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Thanks for helping out your brothers and sisters, especially the very young brothers and sisters. The youngest among us are the biggest stakeholders.

People will read your information. It will be searchable in Google shortly (however, The Archive folks are still moving their servers, so this may take some extra time to get picked up by the Google crawlers and indexed there).

A Good Planet is hard to find

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 1:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Update 1 - Possible Turning Point

Can't vouch for the accuracy of the article, but this could be a turning point. If true this is reason for very guarded optimism. Fingers crossed.

"Japan's nuclear plant operator says new power line may prevent meltdown"

Link to full article

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Poster: boltman Date: Mar 16, 2011 2:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Again...many thanks. Figuring out how to get this to Japan so that there will be some accurate, non-inflammatory and helpful information to keep stress levels down and productivity levels up.

The article does seem to suggest that there may be an end in sight which is great news. Still in for a long haul and some disclosures which could be valuable to the entire industry.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 16, 2011 5:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

IAEA Update on Japan Earthquake

Japanese Earthquake Update (16 March 22:00 UTC)

Temperature of Spent Fuel Pools at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Spent fuel that has been removed from a nuclear reactor generates intense heat and is typically stored in a water-filled spent fuel pool to cool it and provide protection from its radioactivity. Water in a spent fuel pool is continuously cooled to remove heat produced by spent fuel assemblies. According to IAEA experts, a typical spent fuel pool temperature is kept below 25 ˚C under normal operating conditions. The temperature of a spent fuel pool is maintained by constant cooling, which requires a constant power source.

Given the intense heat and radiation that spent fuel assemblies can generate, spent fuel pools must be constantly checked for water level and temperature. If fuel is no longer covered by water or temperatures reach a boiling point, fuel can become exposed and create a risk of radioactive release. The concern about the spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi is that sources of power to cool the pools may have been compromised.

The IAEA can confirm the following information regarding the temperatures of the spent nuclear fuel pools at Units 4, 5 and 6 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant:

Unit 4
14 March, 10:08 UTC:84 ˚C
15 March, 10:00 UTC:84 ˚C
16 March, 05:00 UTC:no data
Unit 5
14 March, 10:08 UTC:59.7 ˚C
15 March, 10:00 UTC:60.4 ˚C
16 March, 05:00 UTC:62.7 ˚C
Unit 6
14 March, 10:08 UTC:58.0 ˚C
15 March, 10:00 UTC:58.5 ˚C
16 March, 05:00 UTC: 60.0 ˚C

The IAEA is continuing to seek further information about the water levels, temperature and condition of all spent fuel pool facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

IAEA Director General to Travel to Japan (16 March 18:50 UTC)

Director General Yukiya Amano announced the following today in Vienna:

"I plan to fly to Japan as soon as possible, hopefully tomorrow, to see the situation for myself and learn from our Japanese counterparts how best the IAEA can help. I will request that the Board of Governors meet upon my return to discuss the situation. My intention is that the first IAEA experts should leave for Japan as soon as possible."

On 15 March, Japan requested the IAEA for assistance in the areas of environmental monitoring and the effects of radiation on human health, asking for IAEA teams of experts to be sent to Japan to assist local experts.

Given the fast-changing situation in Japan, the Director General was unable to announce the itinerary for his trip. He expects to be in Japan for a short amount of time and then return to Vienna.

View Video on YouTube

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 17, 2011 7:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Japan's Unfolding Nuclear Reactor Accident

Japanese Earthquake Update from the IAEA (17 March 17:55 UTC) -- CLARIFIED

Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that engineers have begun to lay an external grid power line cable to Unit 2. The operation was continuing as of 20:30 UTC, Tokyo Electric Power Company officials told the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

They plan to reconnect power to Unit 2 once the spraying of water on the Unit 3 reactor building is completed.

The spraying of water on the Unit 3 reactor building was temporarily stopped at 11:09 UTC (20:09 local time) of 17 March.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.

This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-03-18 02:51:02

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 17, 2011 7:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Update 2 - Survey Map Links

Here's a relatively good site. Anxiously awaiting survey results in and around Fukushima. If memory serves me correctly, somewhere around 80 nanoGrays is normal background. Check with local emergency response planners and continue to monitor for a slow buildup and increase in background from day to day to determine if contamination is being spread and general background levels are increasing.